It’s probably safe to assume that Abercrombie’s public relations office has had a rough few weeks.
The latest blow to the apparel brand’s image has to do with a T-shirt that reads “# more boyfriends than t.s.”
T.S. is apparently a nod to the country music performer, not the long deceased poet, T.S. Eliot.
Shouldn’t a brand built on the purchasing power of young girls have known better than to take aim at the 23-year-old performer? Because even if the T-shirt was meant as a joke (a particularly lame one), Swift’s fan base is far too fanatical for provocation.
Abercrombie quickly ceased selling the shirt – suggesting it fears the wrath of “Swifties” (what fans call themselves) far more than those who continue to criticize the CEO Michael Jeffries’s exclusionary stance on sizing and what he considers “cool”.
As reported by Buzzfeed , one Swiftie posted a video on YouTube in which she recorded herself calling the public relations line and leaving a ranting voicemail (even after the automated message that the shirts are no longer available). It has been viewed more than 15,000 times.
“I’m still going to call and let you know my opinion on this matter. It is a huge waste of production. It is the most childish thing I’ve seen in my entire life. I don’t even care if the T-shirt is out of production. I will never shop at Abercrombie & Fitch again. I hope your business falls to the ground. And I am literally so disgusted …” says the girl who goes by the name Chelsea Nicole.
But it’s unclear why fans are so insulted. Do they take offence to the insinuation that Swift has had too many boyfriends (she has, after all, publicly dated Joe Jonas, Taylor Lautner, John Mayer, Jake Gyllenhaal and One Direction’s Harry Styles). Or maybe they are upset that anyone would attempt to best Swift in the boyfriend department. It also doesn’t take a Swiftie to scorn Abercrombie’s hashtag misuse (normally there are no spaces or punctuation points between words).
While the brand recently attempted an apology regarding Jeffries’s comments, “We sincerely regret and apologize for any offense caused by the comments we have made in the past which are contrary to (the values of diversity and inclusion),” Abercrombie has yet to issue any public statement on the Swift slip. It might also consider a mea culpa to Swift herself.
If these recent public relations brouhahas are any indication, it seems that Abercrombie & Fitch has been striving to out-scandalize that other cheeky clothing label. And if this is the case, why not just state the obvious, as in, a T-shirt that reads: # more hot air than American Apparel.